Former President Donald Trump called on Monday for himself to be declared the “rightful winner” of the 2020 presidential election, or for the vote to be held again. Trump’s outburst came after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that he limited the spread of a story damaging to Joe Biden’s campaign on the advice of the FBI.
“So now it comes out, conclusively, that the FBI buried the Hunter Biden laptop story before the election,” Trump wrote in a post to his Truth Social platform, adding that the agency did so knowing “if they didn’t, ‘Trump would have easily won the 2020 Presidential Election’.”
“This is massive fraud and election interference at a level never seen before in our country,” the former president continued, adding that as a “remedy,” he should be declared the “rightful winner,” or that the government should “declare the 2020 election irreparably compromised and have a new election, immediately!”
Zuckerberg told podcast host Joe Rogan last week that Facebook worked to limit the reach of a New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s laptop in the runup to the 2020 election. The laptop, which has since been independently verified as genuine, contained details of Joe Biden’s son’s drug use, activities with prostitutes, and foreign business dealings, some of which stood to benefit Biden Sr.
Zuckerberg said that the FBI “came to us” and warned that “there’s about to be some kind of dump” of “Russian propaganda.” The Biden campaign also falsely described the laptop’s contents as “Russian propaganda” at the time.
Despite Trump’s protestations, there is likely little he can do. The former president already accused Biden of winning by fraud, citing ballot harvesting, alleged abuse of mail-in voting, and claims of late-night pauses in counting followed by “dumps” of ballots for Biden at voting locations in key swing states. Trump filed numerous lawsuits protesting his loss, but of the few that courts agreed to hear, none were successful.
Facebook was not the only platform to limit the spread of the laptop story. Twitter banned any mention of the Post article and temporarily suspended the newspaper from its platform, while other media outlets – who now admit that the laptop was real and newsworthy – refused to cover the story.
In a statement released after Zuckerberg’s interview, the FBI said that it “routinely notifies US private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats.” However, the agency added that it “cannot ask, or direct, companies to take action.” The FBI did not elaborate on why it labeled the contents of the laptop a “threat.”